“I am my heartâ€™s undertaker. Daily I go and retrieve its tattered remains, place them delicately into its little coffin, and bury it in the depths of my memory, only to have to do it all again tomorrow.” Â â€” Emilie Autumn (The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls)
I had my first suicidal thought at the age of eight. Two years later, I had what I referred to as “my contingency plan”, consisting of a lethal OD of my mum’s prescribed potassium chloride pills. It was a strange comfort to know that, if everything ever became too much, there was something I couldÂ DO, something I actually had control over. At such a tender age, my life was spinning wildly out of my control, devolving into a mess of abuse, depression, and anger. So much anger, looking back it frightens me. I wouldn’t act on these thoughts for nearly a decade.
I suppose some back story is required at this point. I am a 23-year-old child abuse survivor. My mother had me when she was only 18, and my biological father didn’t stick around long enough to even see me born. I spent most of my childhood with a string of my mother’s random boyfriends, each one meant to be a replacement “daddy”. None of them lasted very long until my mother met my current stepfather, we’ll call him “Ash”, when I was six. He is a strict, cold-hearted man, with little love of compassion or sympathy. But for awhile, that was all he was. And life was good again, mostly. We had money to eat, and a clean house to live in. We were happy.
Two years later, I was on the phone with my great-grandmother, talking about “Ash” and a promised vacation to Disney, when I felt his fist for the first time. It was quick and hard, and when I asked why, he replied: “Because you didn’t call me Dad.” My mind was blank as I hung up. I don’t remember now if I cried out, but he shoved me to floor and told me that if I was going to cry like a baby, I should crawl like one. He walked away then without another word. I woke up the next morning to a new Barbie in my room and a note that simply said, “Sorry”.
That was the beginning of abuse that spanned over a decade. During that time, I was abandoned by my mother to live with distant relatives so she could stay with “Ash”, punched and slapped and had my hair pulled more times than I can count, and had been called every name you can possibly use to discourage, dishearten, and demoralize a young teenage girl. Â I spent those years in a depression so black, I never thought there would be a light at the end of the tunnel. TheÂ ONLYÂ thing that stayed my hand was the thought of my mother, who had been diagnosed with MS during this time, having to endure my stepfather alone.
I finally escaped him a few months after my 19th birthday. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever done, running from him like I did. I spent months couch-hopping, spending every night with a different friend who wasn’t fed up with me yet. There were nights I slept alone, in parks and in forests. But I was away from him.
There is something bittersweet about escaping abuse. Yes, wounds and bruises heal. Yes, there is freedom from constant fear of attack, mostly. But scars, especially mental, can take a lifetime to heal. IÂ STILLÂ think I am the idiotic, slutty, worthless piece of shit that “Ash” made me believe I am. I had no trustworthy relatives to talk to, no friends that were willing to listen. I had been utterly deserted by everyone who proclaimed to care about me, or so I thought. I struggled for nearlyÂ TWOÂ YEARSÂ after I left, some days just to breathe. Then finally, on July 27th, 2010, I swallowed about half of a month’s supply of Vicodin and a bottle of 10mg melatonin in hopes to fall asleep and never wake up. I woke two days later in the ICU, on the way up to the psychiatric ward of the local hospital. Upon release after three days of hell in the mental ward that I still refuse to talk about, I started therapy and began my “recovery”.
It has been two years nearly to the day since my suicide attempt. I’ve had so much progress, at least with being able to process what I went through. I can now rationalize my thoughts and emotions, categorize them according to my various diagnoses (Borderline, Social Anxiety). But inside, I am still that despairing,Â ANGRYÂ little girl. I’m useless, worthless, and completely undesirable. I deserve no one, and no one deserves the fucked up mess I’ve become.
Sometimes, I want to set the world on fire. Burning would be almost a kind ofÂ ecstasy.